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Scooting in cats

Isolated cat


Scooting is a word used to explain the act of a cat sitting down and dragging their bottom along the ground. This is usually because of an itch or pain around their anus, caused by:

  • Anal glands
  • Worms
  • Skin problems.

If you see your cat scooting, check their bottom to make sure there is nothing stuck to it. Contact your vet for an appointment if you can't see anything.

Why is my cat scooting?

The most common causes of scooting include:

Something stuck on their bottom

  • Check your cat's bottom for pieces of poo or anything else that could cause irritation.

Anal glad problems

  • Anal glands are two little sacs that sit inside the bottom that can sometimes become blocked or infected, this can cause pain or an itch.


  • Tapeworms will often crawl out of and around your cat's bottom which causes an itch. Remember to de-worm your cat regularly.

Atopy/skin allergies

Illustration of cat scooting

Cat scooting

How can I stop my cat dragging their bum along the floor?

If your cat drags their bottom along the floor regularly it’s a sign that something is wrong. Don’t try to stop the behaviour. The problem that’s causing the scooting has to be treated before they will stop.

  • Treat your cat for worms if they are due (check with your vets if you’re not sure).
  • Check under their tail and around their bottom for anything obviously wrong. If something is stuck – gently remove it.
  • If your cat continues scooting after following this advice, speak to your vet.


When to contact your vet

Contact your vet for an appointment if your cat is scooting for no obvious reason.

Published: September 2018

PetWise Pet Health Hub – brought to you thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery 

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst